At 35 days, The Government Shutdown was the longest shutdown in United States history, and had an enormous effect on all federal workers and their families, including those who live here in the Coachella Valley. All of this was over whether or not tax money should go towards funding the border wall, which has been a campaign promise of Donald Trump’s since the very beginning. Since federal employees were not being paid, most of them did not have a reason to go to work, and with many of their jobs vacant, federal land was more susceptible to being damaged, including land here in the Coachella Valley, and our national security was being put at risk.
Coachella Valley residents had a lot to say about the Government Shutdown itself and the reasons behind it; Special Agent Michael Boxx, who is a part of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, said, “So far I have had to prioritize what my spending is going towards and focus on paying bills. If this shutdown continues I will have to prioritize what bills I have to pay. My motivation to go to work has remained the same, but I can understand how other employees feel as each day continues without pay. It can affect you to the point where you eventually don’t want to do your job or come to work. It might make you want to look for other opportunities for work so you can pay your bills and purchase food for your family. Most of the workers with my agency have continued to show up to work, but morale is low.”
Regardless of political affiliation, it is quite obvious that the Government Shutdown negatively affected federal workers and their families not only nationally, but here in the Coachella Valley, too. There’s a reason that no other shutdown had lasted this long, given that the government is usually aware when their actions are leading to a major consequences. Thankfully, after 35 days, Donald Trump agreed to reopen the Federal Government, even without funding for his border wall.